Elderly Ukrainian couple set to fly to Renfrewshire after visa order

A Bridge of Weir woman will finally be able to bring her elderly Ukrainian parents home with her after a three-week order to secure their visas.

Anna White will be joined by her mum and dad, Zhanna and Viacheslav Malyna on a flight home tomorrow after battling through Home Office red-tape to get them to Renfrewshire.

Anna, 48, has spent weeks trying to secure travel permits for her parents – who are both in their 80s – amid constantly changing rules for refugees trying to get to safety in the UK.

The mum-of-one said she had almost all hope of getting them to Scotland and was facing the financial strain of being forced to live in a hotel for weeks with her parents also running out of medication.

The couple have been staying in Hungary with Anna for three weeks

But after relentless calls and emails, Anna said she was “utterly relieved” to finally receive the emails they had been waiting for on Friday.

She told the Express: “I couldn’t believe it. I was really struggling and was starting to lose all hope that we would get the news we had been waiting for. There was so much conflicting information about how long it would take, and we had waited since March 4 and thought the permits would never come through.

“I was starting to feel really low and was struggling to stay positive as I couldn’t afford to stay in the hotel for another week.

“I felt an SOS email off on Friday morning and I couldn’t believe it when the emails finally came through.”

Anna previously shared her order with the Paisley Daily Express in a desperate bid for help to get her parents safely to Renfrewshire.

Viacheslav, 84, and Zhanna, 82, made a dangerous 900km journey from their home in Kharkiv to Hungary after fearing they would not survive bombings and attacks from Russian artillery.

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The terrified couple crossed the border in the middle of the night on foot after a grievous car journey.

The retired engineers didn’t even have time to pack before fleeing their beloved home in fear of their lives.

Anna, who waited three agonizing days to find out if her parents made it, has been in Hungary for almost three weeks with her mum and dad.

She has faced fights with the UK Home Office due to changing rules for refugees.

And after finally getting the good news, the family were faced with further setbacks as Ryanair’s website crashed, meaning they were unable to book their flights.

Viacheslav, 84, and Zhanna Malyna, 82 were forced to hide in the basement

Anna couldn’t believe their luck, adding: “As soon as we got the emails, I went straight on to book the flights and the website was down.

“I spent six hours checking Twitter to find out if it was back up and running.”

They finally secured flights back from Budapest tonight and will fly back to Glasgow Airport where they will be reunited with Anna’s husband Geoff and their daughter Emilia, 16.

Anna added: “Once I am on the plane with my mum and dad I think I will be able to take a deep breath. I have been so stressed that I can’t even say that I am delighted. I think I will be once I am back home in Renfrewshire with my husband and daughter and have my parents with me.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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